In what amounts to a minor surprise, the Steelers announced that they had come to terms with center Jeff Hartwig for a 4 year 10 million dollar contract extension which includes a 2.1 million dollar signing bonus.
The move is almost certainly the Steelers final contract of the year, as they will soon begin their contract negotiation black out policy once the regular season starts.
Although the Steelers have made it a regular practice to make 11th hour signings, the Hartwig contract is a surprise because most news sources reported that the Steelers contract extension with Brett Kiesel would be the team’s last.
However, a few days ago it was reported that Jeff Reed and his agent rebuffed an offer from the Steelers. Unable to lock down Reed, the Steelers apparently moved on to Hartwig.
Why Hartwig and Kiesel?
When the Steelers signed Brett Kiesel the word was that the made the move because it offered the best value between quality of play and signability. Hartwig certainly falls under that category, as 2.5 million per year is not high for a starting offensive lineman.
Given that, Steel Curtain Rising wonders aloud if the Steelers perhaps couldn’t have used the money to sign both men toward resigning a higher value player like Ryan Clark?